Over the past couple of years, I’ve noticed an increase in the family read aloud culture. I run a group of local homeschool moms, and each month we get together to talk about what’s going on, what’s working and what’s not. And of course, there are always snacks involved. These monthly kid-free meetings are something each of us looks forward to each month.
The last three meetings have been similar in that many of the moms have developed a read aloud time in their homeschool, but they aren’t sure how to keep things fresh and exciting for the kids. After noticing the same issue in some Facebook Groups, I realized there can be a real struggle to keep the kids involved.
Keeping the Read Aloud Revival Alive
Here are five tips for keeping the read aloud revival alive in your homeschool.
Change up the Activities
There are some activities that lend themselves more toward read aloud time than others. LEGOs, for example, are a daily go-to for the kids.
Snap Circuits are another great option. Anything that keeps the hands busy, the mind working and the mouth closed is a winner.
Which means anything that makes excessive noise, or requires talking is not what you’re looking for. In our house, we keep the read aloud activities downstairs, and all the other toys in their bedrooms. This greatly cuts down on the “wrong” toy being played with while mommy reads.
Go Outside or to a Different Location
This may sound simple, but hear me out. Sometimes a simple change, like location, changes everything to a kid. If it’s nice out, go outside. Grab a blanket, some crackers, and a bottle of water and head outside.
We have a picnic table out back that has served as an outdoor school station many times. But if you don’t have a table, sit on the ground, or go to a park and let the kids play in the dirt or sand while your read.
If the weather isn’t cooperating, have an indoor picnic or a tea party to spice things up. Also, I’ve noticed that simply moving to a different room than our normal routine can alleviate some of the bad attitudes.
Make some small changes and see what works for you!
Snacks have long been a part of our read aloud time. In fact, I have a special cubby in my couch just for read aloud snacks. I’ll splurge on a box of granola bars, some cheese crackers, or fruit bars from Aldi (all under $2 each) and stick them in the cubby.
These special snacks are all individually wrapped (except the crackers, I have to put those in individual baggies) so they’re easy to store and hand out as needed. There’s nothing like a fun snack to make the grumpiest of attitudes go away.
Start Themed Read Alouds
Going through a series is always fun when it involves something or someone everyone is a fan of. The Little House on the Prairie series is loved by most little girls. Homer Price and Henry Huggins books offer great stories of adventure, problem-solving, and silliness.
Exploring special interests and diving into one subject area (think unit study) can get kids excited, too.
Let Them Read to You
If your children are older, let them do part of the reading. It might be a strain on your patience at first, but in the end, they will be better readers, and you will have mastered patience (at least to some degree- have you ever tried baking with kids? Oh. My. Goodness- THAT will try your patience! 😉 )
Don’t be discouraged, Mama, as long as you are consistent and maintain a good attitude about reading aloud, they’ll fall in line. Before long they’ll love reading aloud as much as you do!!
A big thank you to Jeniffer Do Nascimento of Thou Shall Not Whine for writing this article.
Day 1 – Keeping the Read aloud Revival Alive
Day 2 – Fostering Independence
Day 3 – Encouraging Reading
Day 4 – When College Isn’t the Next Step
Day 5 – homeschooling with the Brain in Mind